Exposé Online banner

Paul Speer — Ax Inferno
(Rainstorm Records RS1237-CD, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-14

Ax Inferno Cover artPaul Speer is a guitarist and producer originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, probably best known for the two hit instrumental albums he produced with keyboardist David Lanz in the mid-1980s, Natural States and Desert Vision, and more recently collaborations with Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield. His latest all-instrumental release Ax Inferno explores cyclical multi-layered electric guitar visions in a somewhat electronic setting, not at all unlike the work on his 1984 solo LP Collection 983: Spectral Voyages, though the technology available today is far beyond what was at hand thirty years ago. For the most part this is a solo effort with Speer overdubbing all the guitars, bass, synthesizers, and a generous helping of studio effects, setting up self-sustaining patterns, loops and textures, with drummer Ron Krasinski sitting in on four of the seven main tracks. There is a definite groove at work throughout all of these cuts, propelling the sound forward while layers of spacy guitar riffage are superimposed one over another. “Megatron” closes the main part of the album with a very impressive exhibition of tasty guitar pyrotechnics in a somewhat psychedelic electronic setting. The final two cuts are ‘techno mixes’ of the two opening tracks “Contents Under Pressure” and “Accelerator,” both respectful of the rock mix versions and not overdosed with a lot of techno-chatter. While Ax Inferno straddles the fence between electronics and rock, it’s a solid effort that deserves to be heard.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Speer

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Guru Guru - Live – Guru Guru was one of the pioneering German psych rock groups, but by 1977 they had mellowed out with age leaving behind the Neumeier/Trepte/Genrich line up that procured classics such as Kan Guru or...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues